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Aliko Dangote and Bill Gates
Aliko Dangote and Bill Gates
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Nigeria’s Aliko Dangote And Bill Gates Exchange Admiration For Each Other

Jayfred Ugo

Nigeria's biggest industrialist and business tycoon, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, has expressed his desire to give out a portion of his $9.2bn wealth, like billionaire philanthropist, Bill Gates.

Dangote, who is the richest man in Nigeria and also Africa's richest man, made this declaration at the 2019 Goalkeepers' event, which was hosted by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in New York on Wednesday.

Dangote, who has been CEO of Dangote Groups for over 25 years, claimed with all his years of expertise he was still fascinated by Gates' philanthropy. He also stated that he found it amusing that a man from America could show so much love to Nigeria and invest in the lives of people he had no relation to.

"When I started my foundation in 1994, I never realized we had this massive challenge in the health sector," Dangote said.

"Really, it was mind-boggling when we had this agreement to collaborate with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and that really opened my eyes to realize that there are a lot of challenges in health.

“He is very committed to helping humanity and that really surprises me a lot and I realized that he is a simple person and I never knew Bill would be this simple. He is a very soft-spoken guy and kind-hearted."

In turn, the richest man in the world, Bill Gates, lauded Dangote for his communications skills. He recalled that he would not have been able to chat with the likes of Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, and five other northern governors if Dangote had not prevailed on him to attend the meeting.

"Aliko knows people; he has relationships and he is willing to reach out to people.

“He says ‘let’s reach out to the governor, let’s talk to him about this’ and the next thing you know, we’ve got the governor on the phone, talking.

“So, this ability to reach out and draw on the broad relationships that Aliko has developed…you know I am pretty shy about calling people. I just want to mail them my charts.

“So what has come out now is that Aliko and I do conference calls with six of the governors from the northern states where we look at vaccine coverage.

“It is a big challenge but I’ve drawn from Aliko’s communication skills and he is not afraid to call anyone. Everyone likes to to talk him,” Bill Gates said.